Italian region of Lombardy announces new support for UNFPA Supplies

6 December 2019
UNFPA is helping to educate women about family planning options in least developed countries like South Sudan. © UNFPA/Annette Poni

The Government of the Lombardy Region has approved €500,000 in support to UNFPA Supplies as part of the Italian region's overall commitment to expanding access to family planning in the least developed countries.

Lombardy’s first standalone contribution to fund UNFPA operations follows a Regional Council resolution and represents Italy’s first time to finance UNFPA Supplies.

UNFPA Supplies is UNFPA's thematic fund dedicated to expanding access to contraceptives. It is critical to address the unmet need for family planning in the world's poorest countries.

Support for modern family planning, which is a human right and must be voluntary, is widely regarded as a best buy for global development. Full access to contraceptives allows women and girls to choose whether, when and how often to have children. So, more girls stay in school and more women have the opportunity to enter or stay in the workforce. Ultimately, families, communities and countries thrive as they reap the benefits of the demographic dividend contributing to socioeconomic growth, human rights and local development needs.

For every $1 spent on family planning, governments can save up to $6 – making voluntary family planning one of the most value-for-money investments available to donors.

“It is necessary to ensure safe and accessible reproductive and maternal health equipment and services for women in economically fragile countries. These interventions can limit the risk of maternal and neonatal mortality and offer women the opportunity to see their rights protected and freely develop positive life paths," said Attilio Fontana, President of the Regional Government of Lombardy.

The Lombardy Regional Council was represented at the recently concluded Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 by Regional Councilor Dr. Michele Usuelli. In Nairobi, many participants committed to end all unmet need for family planning by 2030 and endorsed the Nairobi Statement, which urges countries to draw on the demographic dividend to drive growth and achieve sustainable development.

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